Air launches ‘Comprehensive Conversations Manifesto’, to establish new later life advice standard

Air has launched a ‘Comprehensive Conversations Manifesto’ to establish a new standard of consumer-focused service excellence in the later life lending market.

As products aimed at older borrowers continue to emerge in the market, advice firms and product providers must navigate a more complex landscape.

In addition, the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Consumer Duty and recent regulatory review have prompted a re-examination of how financial advice and lending products are offered to individuals over the age of 50.

In response, Air launched the Comprehensive Conversation campaign, which will leverage educational resources and tech tools to empower specialist later life advisers, mainstream mortgage advisers, lenders, networks and mortgage clubs, and other professionals serving older customers to commit to offering a diverse range of consumer-focused options.

The Manifesto aims to call upon mortgage professionals to follow several core tenets.

Later life advisers who sign the manifesto will pledge not only to meet regulatory requirements but to strive to deliver the highest standards of advice.

Advisers will also be called upon to signpost all options available to customers and to expand advice, product, and servicing offerings, or to establish referral relationships facilitating access for customers to advice propositions or other services that may help them achieve the most suitable outcome based on their needs, preferences and circumstances.

The manifesto will encourage advisers to take full advantage of tools and technology to ensure affordability and other factors, such as preference, are assessed in determining the most suitable later life lending products for a customer.

Signatories will also commit to ensuring customers understand the full breadth of non-product related options and will provide the right advice regardless of any remuneration drivers.

The Comprehensive Conversations Manifesto is further supported by a Later Life Lexicon, which will serve as a crucial guide for firms with clear definitions of all key terms in the market.

Paul Glynn (pictured), CEO at Air, said: “As innovative new products break into the later life-market, our industry must take decisive action to equip advisers with the right tools to nurture their continual professional development.

“The Comprehensive Conversations Manifesto, devised by Air and shaped by our partners, is the first step in a collaboration towards enhancing consumer-focused lending advice, with an emphasis on affordability and preference.”

He added: “It is our sector’s future, and we are inviting everyone – from the later-life specialist to the mainstream mortgage adviser or generalist IFA- to join.

“These efforts are just the beginning of a larger conversation, one held in constant dialogue with regulatory feedback and advisers’ experiences.

“Our shared goal is to reshape industry standards to prioritise client needs, ensuring every conversation focuses on affordability and the customer’s individual preferences and objectives.

“We look forward to working alongside the later-life lending community as our campaign grows in size and momentum.”